Activity detected at North Korea nuclear site: US monitor

17 Avril, 2019, 15:55 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un Summit in Vladivostok

Pompeo continued that while Kim "said he wanted it done by the end of the year", he would "love to see that done sooner", indicating the possibility of a third summit within the year.

A view of what researchers of Beyond Parallel, a CSIS project, describe as specialized rail cars at the Yongbyon Nuclear Research Center in North Pyongan Province, North Korea, in this commercial satellite image taken April 12, 2019 and released April 16, 2019.

"The current activity, along with their configurations, does not rule out their possible involvement in such activity, either before or after a reprocessing campaign".

Stephen Biegun's trip appears to be the latest attempt by Washington to jumpstart high-stakes nuclear talks with Pyongyang that have seemingly been stuck in neutral since the abrupt end to a summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump in Hanoi.

A second summit in February proved less effective however when negotiations broke down over what the USA said was Pyongyang's excessive demands for sanctions relief in return for limited disarmament measures.

Jenny Town, a North Korea expert at the Stimson Center think tank, said that if reprocessing was taking place, it would be a significant given U.S.

He said the outcome in Hanoi led him to question the strategy he embraced a year ago of global engagement and talks with the United States. Trump also said they were discussing "certain" humanitarian assistance to the North, such as South Korea providing food aid, saying, "You have to be okay with that".

Since then North Korea has said it was mulling options for its diplomacy with the U.S. and Kim said last week he was open to talks with Trump only if Washington came with the "proper attitude".

Trump and Kim left the Vietnamese capital without a deal in part due to disagreements over trading sanctions relief for North Korea scaling back its nuclear program.

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The US president walked away from a partial deal proposed by Kim, which included an offer to dismantle the Yongbyon complex.

Although Kim has maintained a freeze in missile and nuclear tests since 2017, US officials say North Korea has continued to produce fissile material that can be processed for use in bombs.

It would be Kim's first visit to Russian Federation since taking power in 2011, as he calls for an end to the sanctions meant to punish North Korea for its nuclear arms program.

Last month, a senior DPRK official warned that Kim might rethink the test freeze unless Washington makes concessions such as easing sanctions.

He said his country would "wait for a bold decision from the US with patience till the end of this year", raising the potential for the unresolved nuclear issue to become a liability for Trump during his 2020 re-election bid.

"It would underscore that it is an active facility that does increase North Korea's fissile material stocks to increase its arsenal".

Russia, which wields veto power on the United Nations Security Council, has expressed repeated support for the reduction of sanctions that have crippled North Korea's economy.

Experts have estimated the size of North Korea's nuclear arsenal at anywhere between 20 and 60 warheads.

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